Inspired by the video of a baby redspotted catshark (Schroederichthys chilensis) in its egg case, we’re excited to discuss this beauty of a critter. Here, you can see it still isn’t ready to hatch, in stage 4 of the 6 stages of development. The first layers of the egg case have been removed to expose the embryo; don’t worry, this won’t affect the development of the shark.
Also known as the ‘Chilean catshark’ and ‘Pinta roja,’ they are slender, tan animals with dark brown saddles and small spots everywhere (primarily black, but some can be white). They have two saddles between the dorsal fins, as well. As one of their common names gives it away, they are quite common in Central Chile. In fact, they can be seen anywhere in the Southeastern Pacific Ocean from Peru to central Chile.
They don’t get too big, up to 0.62 m (2 ft), allowing them to snuggle in crevices and hide within rocks of rocky reefs and the kelp forests. At night, it’s a different story, where they hunt for crustaceans and other invertebrates.
They are oviparous, with females laying eggs that hold onto sturdy surfaces through sticky tendrils. The cool thing about these sharks is that apparently divers have seen groups of these eggs together, meaning catsharks may get together for an egg-laying party.
The IUCN has labeled this shark as Data Deficient (DD). They are sometimes caught as bycatch for trawl or longlines. They’re a popular species for labs, which may lead to over-collection having an impact on populations.
ever heard of this teeny shark?
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
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